Monday, December 23, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

Christmas time is upon us. I don’t know what you do to celebrate the holidays but this holiday season has snuck up on me and I have to admit, I don’t feel as Christmasy as I would like. Full of good cheer and happiness, especially when my friend needs me to be. Missy is coping with feelings of depression caused by the death of her father in December of 2010. She needed me to be strong yesterday. Unfortunately, my hypomanic crash was and is to some degree still in full effect.

I’m okay now. But who’s to say where the roller coaster will take me one hour from now, two hours from now, maybe five minutes from now. Being alone makes me cry. At least initially. An irrational fear will grip me and I’ll feel abandoned, and as if no one loves me.

Yesterday I fell asleep when Missy needed me to make her laugh. I couldn’t make me laugh, let alone make me her laugh. She was angry. Resentful. And when she told me as much I felt betrayed and as if she didn’t understand that I wasn’t functioning in a way that I was having too hard a time to help anyone.

So I told her I would put the load elsewhere so that I could help her. It was the best I could offer. She got upset and told me that she felt guilty when I said that. That, in reality is on her.

Under a clearer mindset I see that. But I also understand as much as I need her, my crash was in direct conflict with what she needed from me. She needed me to be strong. So I leaned on Delilah and Pam yesterday. Each helpful in their own way.

I think what people don’t understand about the roller coaster of a crash is that it plays with your sleep cycle, it makes you cry, and as much as you try to fake it out it can make you its bitch. Which doesn’t always make you the most reliable of friends.

It’s not that my problem was more important than Missy’s. You can’t quantify something like that. We each felt like the other was letting them down. Which simply wasn’t the case. We were each just needing something more than the other could give. Which when you’re as close as me and Missy are, and have been through as much as we have, it just really, really, sucks.

I mean, I desperately wanted to be there for her, I just wasn’t capable of it. I had like, zero perspective on the matter. I needed people around me and everyone else had their own agendas. Which is exactly how life is. I did NOT want my family to leave last night. And when they did, I did NOT want Missy to go. But they left at the same time. Which upset me. I thought, how dare they! Don’t they see I’m suffering! I’m alone all the fucking time!

Granted Missy is a nurturer. And she picks up a great deal of slack where my family really fucks up in dealing with this bipolar thing. And as much as I’m bitching right now Missy gets an A+ in how she copes with this shit as a friend. As a best friend.

I mean, there’s a lot of good stuff that comes with me but it’s times like these that really test both of us. I think sometimes she doesn’t care enough to understand I can’t help how I’m feeling and I’m sure she thinks I can control my emotion enough for one day to help her through some tough shit of her own.

So, Christmas can really suck a big one. But the reality is, I can’t wait to give Missy her Christmas. I went nuts shopping for her at  Big Lots and on Amazon. And a special gift I had Delilah design for her. The only ones I can’t wait to give their Christmas even more are the girls, Rebekah, Bridgette, and  Mary Jo. I mean, I got Jonathan a box set of my favorite mysteries as a kid, Encyclopedia Brown, but the others I could really be meh over.

Christmas is hard, and now, that it’s hard for Missy too, I’m just going to have to learn how to cope without leaning on her as much at this time of year. This morning I will call Seven Counties and talk to Anita about getting in for a group meeting. Help me get some perspective. I love my friends and family but none of them know what it’s like to be the ones with the illness raging in their bodies and brains. They just know what it is to deal with the result of it. And  it’s like when you have it, the whole family has it. And sometimes they get it and sometimes they don’t.

So Missy, thank you for all that you do. Because even when you are human and feel resentment at my need for a great deal of your understanding and strength, I know you get me, I know you get my illness, and I know 9.999999 times out of 10 you are going to be the kind of friend I long for and maybe don’t even deserve.


Amy McCorkle

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